While it’s been a few years since I’ve run a race, it is common for me to be inspired by the sight of the finish line and to turn up the speed for that last little stretch knowing that the race is almost over. In the longest races I’ve run – half marathons – I have tried to pace myself throughout but usually notice a slowing down around the 11-mile point after which I just have to grind it out to the end. Even in those races, however, there is a burst of energy possible after rounding that last turn and seeing the finish line. I want to shave a few more seconds off that final time.
The longer we live the more we realize that we stumble along the way. When that happens, we may be tempted to spend our time looking back at that stumbling point bemoaning the fact that it happened, blaming it as a reason for not progressing much from that point. A far better response, however, is to recognize that we may not be able to erase the fact that we stumbled or eliminate its immediate consequences, but we can take stock of where we are currently and determine to finish as well as we can, keeping our eyes on the goal before us.
Whether you have stumbled in business, relationships, finances, character, behavior, work, faith or anything else, you do not have to spend the remainder of your days looking back at the stumbling points bemoaning them. It is possible to take stock of the new reality, to make decisions and carry out actions that will result in better consequences down the road, and to make the most of the time you have remaining.
To borrow a simple phrase from the movie Courageous, leap year lesson #300 is Finish well.